To most people, famous athletes seem to have it all. Oftentimes, we don’t hear about the struggles that shaped them on their road to success.
For Los Angeles Clipper’s All-Star point guard Chris Paul, it was his father Charles’s stories that inspired the family to remain humble and give back, and that’s what ultimately led the Paul family to support Shoes That Fit through the Chris Paul Family Foundation.
When he was in junior high school, Chris’s dad, Charles, had just two pairs of shoes—church shoes and tennis shoes. The large family struggled to make ends meet, and Charles had to put cardboard in his church shoes because they had holes.
The tennis shoes were plastic so the extreme heat was a problem because no one wants their shoes to melt. Charles loved gym, so he carried his tennis shoes in a shoebox on the bus to prevent them from being ruined in the heat. He endured the taunts of his classmates as he rode the school bus in his church shoes.
Charles’s stepfather knew how careful Charles was with his shoes and how much he enjoyed gym class. So he stretched the family budget even further and slowly saved enough to buy Charles new shoes.
All these years later, Charles still remembers what it felt like to open that box of new, white NBA shoes. “It is one of my happiest memories,” he recalls. “When we see these kids, we see ourselves,” says Charles, who with his wife Robin, taught his sons to appreciate what they have and give back to those who are not so lucky.
The Chris Paul Family Foundation teamed with Shoes That Fit during the 2015 school year to help more than 500 children at four elementary schools in the Paul’s hometown of Winston-Salem, NC.
CP3 FoundationChris’s parents, Robin & Charles, grandparents and cousins helped deliver shoes and share the same excitement Chris Paul’s father felt that day when he received his new shoes!